Who Defines Your Beautiful?

It’s been a while since I’ve jumped up on my soapbox, but longtime followers of this blog know my hot buttons…and my lack of filter (hopefully in a good way).

Today I saw something that made me furious enough to write this post; something that hasn’t happened in a while.

An author friend of mine shared a “what-the-fuckety-fuck-is-this-shit” kind of promo privately. She was angry, and rightfully so! She was asking about the trope this “person” was writing in. I wish I could say I’ve never heard of that theme or that it didn’t exist, but it’s as old as time and pisses me off every time I see it.

When did being overweight or “ugly” translate into being undeserving of love? Because the way some of these stories are written, these women are undeserving of these so called heroes and their attention until they either become skinny and gorgeous or have a complete makeover and wardrobe overhaul. And then they’re finally deserving of being noticed and/or loved.

I call bullshit.

What makes a person truly lovable and beautiful, in my opinion, rarely has anything to do with physical appearances. In fact, some of the ugliest people I’ve seen are aesthetically pleasing and/or proportioned to societal standards, but don’t have heart or character. For me, it actually diminishes their physical beauty as well.

Now intelligence? A sense of humor? Empathy? I find those traits sexy as hell! Kindness? Not nearly enough of it in the world, so it beautifies a person just as much as a smile does.

Here’s my take on that lame-ass book trope. It’s right up there with the overuse of “billionaire” heroes. Old and tired.

My exception? If it’s the herione’s own insecurities that prove to be the stumbling block, not the hero’s lack of character and depth. Because here’s another sad truth. When people say “you can’t love someone who can’t love themselves,” there’s a grain of truth, but probably not in a literal sense. People who don’t love or believe in themselves don’t believe themselves worthy of the emotion when others try to give it. They may be receiving it, but they can’t be forced to accept the gift.

That’s something within themselves that they’ll need to fix, and no fault of the hero.

So if you’ve ever been made to feel like you were less somehow, I hope you realize that the deficiency is in them. Not you. You’re amazing just the way you are. BTW, it happens to all of us at some point… Even me. Hell, someone once offered me $1000 to lose weight and another one offered to buy me a boob job so I could fit their versions of beauty. Too bad I like who I am and I know my worth. I hope you know yours too, and shut that shit down. No one needs that kind of undermining negativity in their lives, agreed?

Know what I think makes me beautiful? My belief in the best in people and my willingness to battle for people not powerful enough to fight for themselves. (AKA don’t fuck with an underdog in my presence unless you want to bleed.) I also think my loyalty and intelligence may me a pretty decent catch. 😉

What about you? What makes you a beautiful person? Has anyone ever tried to make you feel less? How did you handle it?

Feminism and Submission: Kinky Coexistence #BOAW2018

In the last couple of years there has been a huge resurgence of attention and activism placed on feminism and women’s rights. We’ve had coordinated women’s rights marches, much more discussion around equality in pay, education, and career opportunities.

Yes, as a group we’ve become loud and proud, creating campaigns like #metoo and “Fight Like a Girl” designed to encourage our fellow woman to speak out and share in solidarity to the female sisterhood.

Even in movies we’ve been a force to be reckoned with….bringing out badasses and heroes like Arya, Khaleesi, Rey and Wonder Woman… and other movies like Black Panther and Hidden Figures where the women were strong, smart, and powerful. And this is all amazing. Really!

But I wonder sometimes if, in our battle for equality and power, we’ve lost some sensitivity and somehow managed to push others in our sisterhood into a deeper closet…made them doubt themselves and their acceptance in our new, fierce world.

Submission in a time where we’re calling on the badass women must be so difficult. I mean, living in the often highly misunderstood BDSM world is already tough. They already get the whole…blah, blah, blah…”abuse”,….blah, blah, blah…”Stockholm syndrome” crap from people with no understanding of the “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” lifestyle.

But now, when we’re talking about powerful women, I’m sure that there are many women fighting against their nature because somehow submission in this new world (not that it wasn’t already there a little bit) might make them seem weak or the ‘unfeminist.’ Or maybe their sisters will think maybe they’re not living up to their gender/power roles and are somehow encouraging female oppression, either silently make them feel like an insult or embarrassment to the cause, or outright say it…because they don’t understand.

And they’d be WRONG!

“A submissive is free to do whatever they desire, whenever they desire. Yet even with all their freedom, they choose to kneel. That is why submission is so beautiful.” ~ Unknown

My first contribution to Beauty of a Woman GirlBoner edition was Sacred Sexuality. At that time, I discussed my thoughts about being both a Christian and kinky. Why do I bring it up? Because I believe there’s something pretty sacred about the power exchange, too. Heck, people like to throw around the “wives submit unto your husbands” verses as a reason NOT to embrace Christianity, but I believe they don’t fully understand (or choose not to) the difference between submission and subjugation. Plus, the scriptures also say submit to each other, so it also doesn’t limit itself as a one way path down a gender specific street. Pronouns CAN be exchanged, in my opinion.

“The idea of submission is never meant to allow someone to overstep another’s boundaries. Submission only has meaning in the context of boundaries, for boundaries promote self-control and freedom. If a woman is not free and in control of herself, she is not submitting anyway. She is a slave subject to a slave driver, and she is out of the will of God.” ~ Henry Cloud

Submission is a physical, emotional, and mental act of consciously and deliberately giving oneself over into the loving care of another. Far from weak, it’s one of the hardest things to do, and only the strongest of soul and purpose is capable of giving up so much trust and placing it into a worthy Dominant’s hands.

“Fight for freedom when someone suppresses you.. Be submissive when someone gives freedom for you.” Shivaranjani Murugesan

I think that probably speaks to the strength, beauty , and power of submission pretty well. It takes a strong, self aware woman to willingly and knowingly walk this path. Isn’t that also what being a feminist is about? Knowing and understanding your needs and fearlessly reaching out and grabbing it? Being a trailblazer on a road less travelled? Knowing your true self and knowing what it takes to make yourself happy, then fearlessly reaching out for it, screw the voice of public opinion?

I mean, there’s something exquisitely beautiful about BDSM… It works because there’s an honesty to the relationship that you won’t find in many places. They realize that no one gets through life without a few wounds and scars, fears and insecurity. And it’s about building such a strong foundation in honesty and communication that you don’t hide the realest, ugliest parts of you. Because somehow, in the give and take that happens in such a surrender, they want those parts of you, too…and help you learn to accept and love even those darker parts of your soul that make you uniquely you. And it’s true on both sides of the relationship.

“I want the parts you’ve tried to throw away. The parts you were convinced no one could love.” ~ unknown

To me, the fearless strength a submissive has…to take their power and willingly, knowingly hand it over to someone worthy…well, if that’s not both powerful woman and feminist, I don’t know what is. It’s scary, sure. Misunderstood by many, absolutely. But true to your inner self? A beacon of strength that leaves many a Dominant in awe and grateful for the amazing gift? How could they not be?

Submissive, please don’t let yourself be stifled, squashed, or afraid because of the feminist message. YOU are the embodiment of EVERYTHING that makes a woman both powerful and a survivor.

Be fearlessly you!

This post is part of The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VII! To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, click HERE. on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 9th.

Sending you all Love and Empowerment!

Lost, Broken, or Hope? Which Are You?

My heart hurts today. I just can’t sit here and say nothing. Am I the only one who feels it lately? All this hate, rage, toxicity oozing out of social media?

Can you not feel its destructiveness to your bones? I can.

There’s already so much pain and desolation and fear in the world. Must we really rabidly spew more hate into it? For the first time in a long time I hid someone’s posts from my Facebook posts from my feed because I couldn’t stand the hate messages wrapped up as “activism” anymore. Every message was filled with vitriol, spewed hate, and fanned the flames of extremist behavior while denigrating anyone who might value something other than what she believed.

I felt sad. Sorry for her. That she was so unhappy and filled with poison and looking for someone to blame. But I couldn’t be in her universe anymore. For me. I couldn’t condone her messages of verbal violence against others. That’s not a solution. That’s not helping make this world better. That’s just more of the horrible cycle of fear and hate and violence.

Listen…

I live in Florida. My heart broke for all the lost young lives. I ache for their families. It hit very close to home. The violence is not ok. I think we all agree on that. Gun control? Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. I don’t pretend to know. Do I think mental health issues play a big part in the violence of today? Absolutely. Do I think teachers should have to carry guns? No.

Billy Graham, who has been a religious leader to many, also died this this week. He lived to a ripe old age. Good for him.

Death isn’t death. Everyone finds their strength to move on from different sources, faith in God being a big one. So when I see the same people shouting hate comments at political leaders due to gun control laws, then spewing filth, nastiness, and wishing violence on a religious leader, I get sick to my stomach. I begin to wonder just how broken you are to fan more fuels of hate after such a painful week, and I walk away.

I feel sorry for the person, but I forgive them and I leave. Because I can’t be around that. I refuse to believe that the world is so broken and disgusting that it now only filled with rage and hate and finger pointing.

I don’t like people who extol hate and vicious rage. Who fan flames of doubt and violence. I may love you as a person, but it doesn’t mean I like you. Or that I’m blind to a person’s effect.

I guess what I’m asking is this… Have you considered the message you’re sending out into the world? Is it truly representative of the person you are? Are you helping to make the world a better place? What things have been hurting your heart lately? What things have given you hope or joy?

Mystique

Many of my friends are sharing their thoughts on the Beauty of a Woman this week, thanks to August McLaughlin and her Third Annual Beauty Of A Woman Blogfest, and it’s been a wonderful adventure to read. The first part, celebrating feminine sexuality, started on Monday.

Click HERE to check out the #GirlBoner (feminine sexuality) edition participants

Click HERE to check out the #GirlBoner (feminine sexuality) edition participants

The second part, celebrating the overall beauty of a woman, starts today…

Click HERE to check out the many fantastic posts.

Click HERE to check out the many fantastic posts.

There are prizes for participating via visiting, liking, and commenting the various blogs who are sharing, by the way, so really, check them out. You won’t be sorry.

I felt a need to join in their celebration, so I’m re-sharing a poem I wrote for International Womens Day last year.

Mystique

“The Weaker Sex”
is what we’re called.
Generations
of velvet encased
iron core,
who have held
and nurtured
in body and heart-
souls,
Sons who become fathers,
Daughters to
mothers.
We’ve stood firm,
guardians of the castle
charged with
sacred duty
to mold,
guide and nurture,
teach and love.
Dry tears,
kiss away wounds
spiritual and physical.
Healing powers-
steeped in
understanding,
forgiveness and patience.
We hold on if we can,
let go when we must.
Kindness, empathy
and knowledge.

Strength is required
to be
“The softer side.”

Where To Find Beautiful

With all the terrible sadness and tragedy of this last week, my heart has been a bit heavy. My thoughts have been with those in Oklahoma who are going through so much right now. My prayers have been filled with them and childhood and online friends who’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer.

I needed my heart to be soothed. To remember the good in the world. To be empowered and inspired.

Today I thought I’d share with you the things that have touched me….and hope that they speak to you, too.

Here’s some poetry from a young lady named Botlhale Boikanyo from South Africa’s Got Talent at the age of 11.

Next is Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough’s Freestyle performance Monday night on Dancing With The Stars. It brought tears to my eyes. The emotions were so clearly displayed. She bared her soul with that dance. (The song was gorgeous, too.)

My last addition is a song sung by Jotta A, a Brazilian boy. I believe he was 12 at the time of this particular recording. I think it might be from Brazil’s Got Talent. You can definitely tell English is not his first language as he mispronounces some words, but the heart of the song…the message…  He delivers that, loud and clear. He’s singing Chris Tomlin’s Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone.

Where do you go when you need to add a little beauty to your life? Have you seen anything that’s wow’ed you lately? If so, please share it with me!

Beauty Of The Earth

Happy Earth Day!

How often do we really take time to stop and look around at the natural beauty that surrounds us? Isn’t it funny that often, to see the beauty in nature, we must observe it elsewhere? Many people would tell me I live in paradise. Truthfully, until this last year, it would’ve taken a lot for me to even notice some of the natural beauty that surrounds me.

Scented Jasmine in my entryway

Scented Jasmine in my entryway

A year ago, I doubt that I would’ve noticed the lovely scents my jasmine blooms are releasing as I walk in and out of my house. Or that I finally got my first gardenia bloom of the season while I was in the Bahamas.

Jasmine climbing the post in front of my house

Jasmine climbing the post in front of my house

I would’ve failed to notice how such small, delicate flowers can create such a gorgeous fresh scent. I definitely would’ve missed the sunset on the beach that I posted months ago….and would probably not even have looked up to notice the Florida panther from a while back, either.

Why is that? Why would I have missed those joys, but caught the amazing color of the ocean while I was in the Bahamas? Or ignored the palm trees at home, only to be awed by the ones there?

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to look around us. It’s only when we disconnect from the world we’re used to that our eyes open to absorb the amazing every day beauty that surrounds us…and it’s not even OUR every day.

Maybe it’s everything that’s happening in the world lately that has me a little introspective. Who could blame me? This last year has been full of upheaval, both for me as a person…and for the world. There is so much ugly in the world…too much. But there’s some truly amazing beauty there, too. So what is it about human nature that has us focusing on all the negative stuff? The hurtful? The cruel? Why is the focus so rarely on the beautiful or inspirational? The joy?

To tell you the truth, I stopped watching the news years ago. I couldn’t stand all the negativity and hatefulness. I figured I’d probably hear what I needed to know on Facebook or Twitter anyway. Plus, if I spent too much time watching all the atrocities on the news I may have found myself going the way of Emily Dickinson. It’s one of the reasons I can’t handle most reality TV. Does that mean I watch no reality shows? No. Because technically, shows like The Voice or Dancing With The Stars (my guilty pleasure-Go Team Ingo!) are considered reality shows. The shows that make celebrities out of people for acting ridiculous or that seem to enjoy ridiculing others…? Not interested.

It’s odd, but the same reason I rarely watch horror or gratuitous violence movies has become the same reason I don’t watch the news and rarely read the paper. I don’t want that kind of negativity to have a foothold in my brain. Don’t misunderstand. I’m well aware that there are bad things in this world. You can’t live more than a couple years without being confronted by such hard truths. But like many other things, I’ve come to realize I have a choice: to let all the bad scar or scare me, to become indifferent to the hardships/suffering/pain of those around me, or to look for (and find) the best in people…and let go of the worst.

Why am I talking about people on Earth Day? Because we’re a big part of what makes the Earth beautiful. We’re also a big part of what tears it apart. I’m not exactly what anyone would call a “tree hugger” by any stretch of the imagination. My contributions are limited to cleaning up my own litter and recycling. Well, at least my physical contributions. The contributions I give through my heart and spirit…well, I’d like to think that’s completely different. “Control your controllables”. That was advice a former boss once gave me. She was right. The thing I can control the most? Me. So I choose to maintain a positive outlook. I choose to seek the best in people. I choose to see the love and kindness that were shown to strangers in Boston and in Texas. I choose to see the outpouring of support and friendship sent our way from all over the world.

People can call me foolish or naïve. I’d rather have hope and live with joy in my heart than the fear, bitterness and anger that they allow to take control of theirs… I’d ask if you guys think I’m foolish or crazy, but let’s be honest… even if you did, when it comes to this…I wouldn’t care. Plus, I know I’m not the only optimist…. I would love to know what you guys have been thinking about this last week, though.

It’s hard to believe that it was just a week ago today that I was preparing to board a plane from the Bahamas back to the states only to hear about the tragedy in Boston (and the everyday heroes who went out of their way to help their fellow man simply because they were in a position to do so). Maybe that’s the root of my introspection. Who knows… Either way, I leave you with this… Love life. Love each other. It’s just one more way to love the earth.  It’s our sacred duty…which is why I selected the song at the top. For those of you who’d never heard it before, it’s John Rutter’s “For The Beauty Of The Earth”.

 

Own Your Power

Today, as I contemplate that it is International Women’s Day, I’ve been thinking about what makes us so special as women. There are so many things that make me absolutely proud to be a woman. At it’s core, though, I think it boils down to one thing. Resilience. We are very good at recovering. Sometimes it’s a physical thing like child birth while other time’s it’s heart break or loss. Regardless, as a whole, we find ways to regroup, recover and come back stronger. I felt the above music illustrated that super power quite well.

I attempted to put my feelings about women in general into a poem, and this is what I came up with.

beauty_sunshine

Mystique

“The Weaker Sex”
is what we’re called.
Generations
of velvet encased
iron core,
who have held
and nurtured
in body and heart-
souls,
Sons who become
fathers,
daughters to
mothers.
We’ve stood firm,
guardians of the castle
charged with
sacred duty
to mold, guide and nurture,
teach and love.
Dry tears,
kiss away wounds
spiritual and physical.
Healing powers-
steeped in
understanding,
forgiveness and patience.
We hold on if we can,
let go when we must.
kindness, empathy
and knowledge.
Strength is required
to be
“The softer side.”

To all the women out there, I hope you realize how truly strong you are and that you have someone who shares your life who recognizes those superpowers you carry so effortlessly. Today, on International Woman’s Day, I think it’s fair to ask. What do you think makes women unique and/or powerful? What things do you respect the most?

For all you girls…in whichever part of life you happen to fall in…this is for you. Hold your head up. Own your power! You ARE strong.

 

Detail and Decal Your Downstairs

Valentine’s Day tends to encourage us to get a little closer. Romantic thoughts and seductions fill the mind (well, if you’re anything like me). You plan your date night meticulously. You pick out a sexy/seductive outfit. You select mood music for the car if you’re going out, for the home if you’re dining in. We women either buy some sexy, new lingerie or pull it out of hiding from our underwear drawers. We primp, we prime ourselves… So here’s a gentle reminder not to forget the little things that can cause an evening to come to a screeching halt…or at least damper the mood…

I have a close male friend. Well, I have a few, but this one is a bit different. This particular friend is my partner in crime. If there’s trouble to be gotten into, he’s usually the one at my side, egging me on. I, on the other hand, am his voice of reason. Scary, right? What’s even scarier as that we talk about everything and anything. His boyfriend found it a bit disconcerting the first time he hung out with us. Now he’s used to it.

Anyway, a few years ago we were driving along when I saw a sign advertising the opening of a new spa.

Me: That reminds me. I need to find a decent spa that that does waxing.
Him: Like your eyebrows?
Me: No, I tweeze those.
Him: Then what?
Me: The bikini area! Preferably a place that does Brazilians. I like to be all pretty down there.
Him: When’s the last time you got waxed?
Me: When I was in Chicago. I’ve been shaving since. And that’s just a pain in the ass.
Him: I know. I shave, too. Waxing just sounds painful.
Me: Eh, it’s not that bad. Glad to hear you manscape though…not that I ever want to see it.
Him: Yeah, that would be weird.
Me: (nodding) There is nothing worse than a guy who’s got Bozo the clown going on around his Johnson. And I’m not referring to him being a redhead. Guys don’t want to have women’s pubes between their teeth like dental floss. I don’t know why they wouldn’t think we’d feel the same way! If they want me to smoke their sausage, they need to trim the shrubbery.

We both laughed. A few minutes went by, then….

Friend: So you know how IV has had a thing for you forever? (IV is the nickname we’ll give a guy to protect the sort of innocent)
Me: (laughing) Of course! It’s not every day a hot young thing walks up to you, gives you a hug and says, “You know, it’s only illegal if I tell.”
Friend: You shot him down gently.
Me: Only to have him come back on his 18th birthday to let me know he was legal!
Friend: Yeah, that boy’s not used to hearing no, and he’s only ever dated older girls.
Me: (shaking my head) Ah, but there’s a difference between girls and women.
Friend: True. But that was a couple of years ago. That boy still wants you.
Me: (nods) Yeah. That boy seems to have a Lo-Jack on me. If I walk into the building, he’s like a heat seeking missile. It’s not easy shooting down a hottie like that all the time. He’s got a great ass…
Friend: True. Remember the other night when he and I went out and he got drunk?
Me: Yeah…
Friend: I saw him naked before you….Haha! I let him crash at my place to sleep it off.
Me: And?
Friend: He needs to manscape.

Of course I cracked up! Lack of manscaping can be a complete mood killer. Most of us women know to take care of that area, whether it’s trimming, waxing (bikini or Brazilian), or shaving (some like landing strips, some prefer to go bald). Bathing suits and bikinis require we take care of some of those hairs at an early age. There are very few things more disconcerting than hair sticking out the sides….

1129__520x440_hairy-bikini-shot

Ok, so this is an exaggeration, but you get the idea. No bueno. If you are one of these ladies…surprise your man for Valentine’s day. Beautify that garden! Nothing like a little lovely pruning to spice up the romance. In fact, if you’re a bit nervous about doing it yourself and don’t want to see a stranger or have fear of waxing, some guys are into the erotic shaving experience. What is an erotic shaving? It’s where you put your private parts into your man’s hands and let him shave it off…and decorate. (The up side is that if he is in the same boat as you, it gives YOU a chance to return the favor!)

For those ladies who are in the advanced class? (Already trim or shave or wax) A few months ago I was introduced to the concept of Vajazzling through Natalie Hartford’s Blog. Apparently Jennifer Love-Hewitt kicked off the trend. Anyway, imagine my surprise when I walked into my favorite adult store and found a bunch of them…each with it’s own sexy or kinky message!

Vajazzle

For the purpose of this blog, I took a fairly tame picture, but you get my drift. The thing is, they’re pretty cool looking! I’m thinking I may need to pick some up and play…. Check it out.

vaj001-vajazzle-yours-body

Cute, right? A nice, intimate message for your Valentine. And it’s less painful (and permanent) than a tattoo.

What do you do to feel sexy for your significant other? For yourself? If you don’t have a significant other, there’s nothing wrong with some solo sexy time…

My Valentine song for today…a little on the playful side.

Maiden Voyage

20130127-191822.jpg

Listening to
Graceful crash
Of lightly, rippling
Waves.
Glass shatters
Across the hull,
Rivulets
Of bubbling gold
Gliding down.
Step ‘board
My wooden chariot,
Opaque sheets
Spread upward,
Angled high
Against the beautiful
Backdrop;
Cerulean sky.
Enjoy
The peaceful lull;
Curving to and fro.
I plan
A quest to find “me”…
Parchment guides
Etched by explorers
Past.
Rolled out,
Determined,
To plot my course.
Gazing blindly,
I try,
Pencil to paper,
To render my path.
Eyes unseeing,
I turn away,
Look out into
The unending
Deep blue,
And realize
I was never
Missing.

Friday, I went to Selby Botanical Gardens with my mom and a good friend in need of a distraction. Placed along the Gulf of Mexico, I found myself looking out at the water and daydreaming. The above picture is one of many I took that day. Here are a couple more.

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Here is one of a bonsai tree…I imagined fairies frolicking beneath those beautifully sculpted branches.

20130127-193641.jpg

Here is an image of only one of the exotic beauties we saw that day.

20130127-193030.jpg

My friend playing bird whisperer…a great way to distract him from his troubles. And finally, below is the souvenir dwarf pineapple plant I took home. Isn’t it gorgeous? Where do you find your peace & beauty?

20130127-193413.jpg

Awakening

20130117-082445.jpg

Gazing out,
Ball of fire
Climbs slowly
Up a wall
Of misty blues
And breathy pink.
Chilled air
Flirts…
A gentle graze
On bared flesh.
Silent stillness,
World on pause,
A moment
For deep breaths
And reflection.
A tuneless song
Trills out
From mothers nesting
In strong arms,
Of swaying branches…
Nature’s rocking chair.
Whistle floats up
As leaves chatter.
Orange sun
Shifts to yellow,
Burning up
The gentle fog,
Revealing…
A bright,
Shimmering
New day.